Though the Taiwanese film, THE SADNESS, arrived at theaters in Taiwan in 2021, the movie reached North American audiences on May 12, 2022 through the streaming service Shudder. Oddly the film was written and directed by a native Canadian, Rob Jabbaz, the movie is in the nation’s native Cantonese language and subtitled or dubbed for all other nations.
Jim and Kat are a young couple living in the big city of Taipei during the epidemic virus Alvin that has been sweeping the nation. Similar to COVID-19, people are told to be careful and stay in place whenever possible. However, a variant of the virus causes people to go insane and begin murderous rampages throughout the city. Jim and Kat try their best to find each other during day one of what seems to be an apocalypse.
THE SADNESS (2022) is in the frame of the “hate virus” version of the zombie film. Receiving excellent reviews, the movie is also noted for its intense violence and depravity. Not unfamiliar with Taiwanese zombie movies (ZOMBIE 108 (2012) and ZOMBIE FIGHT CLUB (2014)), the sex-and-violence genre has flourished in Taiwan. Dark Discussions takes a look at this kinetic film.